By Mike Leonard 331-4368 |
September 21, 2011

The Bloomington campus of Ivy Tech Community College will become the new regional arts partner for the Indiana Arts Commission’s Region 8, effective Jan. 1, 2012.

Regional arts partners facilitate community arts programming and various regional services, including support to other arts organizations and assistance in obtaining project grants.

“Actually, what we’re taking on is an arts service area that is very similar to the region we serve as a community college with the exception of adding the arts community in Brown County,” said Ivy Tech Chancellor John Whikehart. Region 8 also includes Greene, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan and Owen counties.

“One nice aspect to this is that it will not require any additional staff on our part. We are going to partner with Tina Peterson and the Monroe County Community Foundation and they will handle the re-granting process for us,” he said. “That’s the lion’s share of the grant work involved in the IAC partnership, and I think the arrangement will help the community foundation get broader exposure.”

Ivy Tech will make use of its existing Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship to satisfy the technical assistance component of its state arts commission agreement. “We’ll work with individual artists on business planning, financial planning, financial assistance planning — we want to work with them very much from the standpoint that artists are local entrepreneurs,” Whikehart said. “I think the last survey I saw indicated that $44 million of economic activity was generated by the arts community.”

The Bloomington Area Arts Council was the state arts commission’s longtime partner before being stripped of that status in 2009. After a period with no formal affiliation with the state arts commission, the city of Bloomington agreed to take on the regional arts partner responsibilities for one year — a term that ended June 30.

The selection of Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus was approved by the state arts commission at its Sept. 16 quarterly business meeting in Indianapolis.

“We are very excited by the opportunity to have Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus represent the Commission and serve the cultural needs in Region Eight,” IAC Executive Director Lewis C. Ricci said in a prepared statement. “Partnering with a community college provides unique educational outreach opportunities along with a proven track record of service to a regional audience.”

The IAC has one other college-based partner. Hanover College serves as the commission’s partner for Region 12 in southeast Indiana.

Whikehart said his campus and the state arts commission began discussing a partnership more than a year ago. “It was very important to me at that time to define the college’s acquisition and use of the John Waldron Arts Center before we could be a regional partner with the IAC. We just weren’t ready then,” he said. “We really appreciate Miah Michaelsen and the city stepping up and taking on that job for a year, and now we are comfortable that we’ve been able to define our mission with the Waldron and move on into this agreement.”

The Waldron’s artistic director, Paul Daily, will serve as the campus liaison with the IAC.

The Ivy Tech Waldron building in downtown Bloomington. Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.